Tuesday 16 January 2018

Rose gets royal reception on home turf

Shane Hickey

IT was a welcome from a rose to a rose on their home turf.

A Co Kildare town last night celebrated the arrival home of a homegrown Rose of Tralee -- the second year in a row a winner has come from the area.

A celebratory parade in Athy welcomed back Clare Kambamettu, the London Rose who was victorious in Tralee last month. And on hand to greet her return was childhood friend Charmaine Kenny, the 2009 Rose of Tralee, who grew up less than two miles away from her. Ms Kambamettu, a psychologist who is half Indian and half Irish, returned to Ireland for her first full weekend since winning the title.

Locals in Athy are now boasting that their village produces the best Roses in the country after the two back-to-back wins. "It is deja vu for us because we did this last year and we were making it up as we went along, saying this is something we will never have to do again and then we turn around the following year and we have to do it again. It is fantastic," said Liam Dunne, chairman of the Kildare county show.

The two women lived about a mile and a half from each other while growing up and both attended the local Scoil Mhuire. They were reunited last night during a specially organised parade through the town to welcome home Clare.

Some 24 'rosebuds' helped with the welcome, including Clare's godchild, Rebecca McElhonnon. A horse and carriage was laid on to bring Clare's parents, Ravi and Breda, through the town.

Irish Independent

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